RAGBRAI L will be rolling into Des Moines on Wednesday, July 26. Bikers, their crew, and the community can enjoy Des Moines-apalooza on Wednesday. All activities and camping will take place at Water Works Park. It is sure to be one epic day and one epic party. We’ve put together the down and dirty of what to expect. 

What is Des Moines-apalooza?  

Each stopover city on RAGBRAI has a theme, with Des Moines-apalooza being the theme for the Des Moines stop. It’s a nod to the festival-like atmosphere at Waterworks Park, along with all the activities happening throughout the community, and the epic scope of the 50th anniversary ride, with up to 50,000 riders expected to make the Ames to Des Moines journey.  

What is the route? 

Riders will be traveling to Des Moines from Ames on Wednesday, July 26. Pass thru towns include Slater, Madrid, Polk City, and Ankeny. 

You can see the route details for Ankeny here and Des Moines here.

he route will take bicyclists from Polk City, into Ankeny, and from there down Highway 69 (E 14th Street), onto E University Street, then to E 9th Street where they will bike past the Iowa State Capitol. From there they will bike down Walnut Street to 15th Street Martin Luther King Jr Parkway, onto Fleur Drive, and end at Water Works Park. 

On Thursday, July 27, riders will leave Water Works Park on Fleur Drive to Martin Luther King Jr Parkway, onto 15th Street then Walnut Street, and pass through Iowa State Fairgrounds on their way to Pleasant Hill and Altoona. 


DART is running a special RAGBRAI service, looping from Water Works Park to downtown Des Moines and Historic East Village. The route will run from 1 – 11 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26. Day passes are $4 for unlimited rides. Pro tip: Download the DART app for half price day passes. 

For locals, save yourself the traffic headaches and park downtown; DART is offering day passes at the 4th and Grand Avenue parking garage and will bring you to and from Water Works Park. Parking at 4th and Grand Avenue is $10 for the day. Pro tip: You can park anywhere downtown and use this DART service. 

Can I join the party even if I’m not riding in RAGBRAI? 

Of course! The festivities at Waterworks Park are open to anyone and it’s free to attend.  

Speaking of the fun stuff... 


There will be concerts and live music throughout the day on two different stages in Waterworks Park. The concerts are FREE to attend.  

Main Stage

1 p.m.: RAPTORS – Air Force Band 
2 p.m.: Dave Zollo 
3:15 p.m.: Brother Trucker 
5 p.m.: The Nadas 
7 p.m.: Dillon Carmichael 
8:15 p.m.: Lynyrd Skynyrd 

Bridge Stage

Noon: DJ Jimmy Jim 
2 p.m.: The Crust Band 
4 p.m.: Allegra Hernandez 
5:30 p.m.: Kris Lager Band 
7 p.m.: RAPTORS – Air Force Band 

Des Moines-apalooza Merchandise 

RAYGUN has created three different Des Moines-apalooza shirts that you can order here. They will also have a booth at Waterworks Park on the 26th, where they will be doing on-site screen-printing of the shirts. 

Des Moines-apalooza at Waterworks Park by the numbers  

  • 35 food vendors 

  • 76 beers on tap, including many local beers 

  • 11 beer gardens 

  • More than 25 exhibitors will be set up in the Arboretum 

  • 35-foot inflatable Des Moines-apalooza guitar for photo ops 

Can I volunteer to help out?

We thought you’d never ask. Click here to check out the different volunteer opportunities.

For even more information on what to expect and how to participate, check out the Des Moines RAGBRAI page here.